Kalle Malmberg new professor at Oslo University
Kalle Malmberg at CIM has been appointed Professor of Immunology at Oslo University. The professorship is combined with a Group Leader position at Radiumhospitalet, Oslo University Hospital.
Congratulations! When do you start your new job?
I have already started! From the end of January I work part-time in Oslo, part time in Stockholm.
Why is Oslo and Norway interesting?
The Norwegian Radiumhospital at Oslo University Hospital has a long-standing tradition of performing investigator initiated immunotherapy trials. They have mostly focused on cancer vaccines in solid tumors but have an ambition to move into cellular therapies. They have one of Europe's largest GMP facilities with established GMP procedures for production of dendritic cells and electroporation of chimeric antigen receptors into T cells.
What will you do as a professor there?
My ambition is to develop a platform for cellular therapies against cancer. Because of my training as an Hematologist, I will focus my efforts on treatment of refractory lymphomas. In a first series of trials I aim to combine tumor targeting antibodies with adoptive transfer of NK cells. However, I am also curious to develop new lines of research and engage in gene modification of immunological effector cells. In more experimental studies, I will continue to study the basis for NK cell repertoire formation and my favorite topic: killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors. It will be exciting to explore how diversity in immune cell repertoires influences our ability to control viral infection and cancer progression.
Which are your expectations on the job?
I look forward to get more time for research. At least for a while. It has been fantastic to work at the center for hematology but it is very difficult to combine clinical work with a group leader position. In the future, I might want to get back to a more clinical setting and see patients but for now, I like to focus my efforts on launching trials for patients with refractory disease.
Will you move to Norway?
Yes. The family plan to move. However, it is not yet decided when we will move. It depends on many things, in particular on when my wife finds a job that she likes. Also my kids need to get into day-care.
How long have you worked at CIM?
I started as a post-doc in HGs group 2003. That means nearly 9 years! Time flies!
What will you miss the most from CIM?
Everything! I think CIM is an amazing work place. There are so many unique aspects of CIM that has made it to one of the leading immunology labs in Sweden and with international recognition. Even though I have mostly been riding my bike between the clinic and the looker room, I have always felt proud to belong to CIM. Sometimes the walk from HG and Carina at one end of the corridor to Jakob at the other end takes an hour or more because of the many scientific discussions along that way. Difficult to get home to dinner! CIM is a very dense and creative environment. As an example, I have recently shared my work desk with two PhD students!
Will you keep any collaboration with CIM in the future?
Yes, it is my intention to maintain affiliated to CIM and to Karolinska Institutet, and the Center for Hematology and even to seek renewal of grants for specific projects that are dependent on our infrastructure. Parts of my group will stay at KI and I look forward to many visits and telephone conferences in the coming years. HG and I also plan to develop more clinical trials together and learn from experiences at the two Universities. We are building an air bridge between Stockholm and Oslo.